My first ever podcasting of poetry is up today. Go check it out. Extra special bonus, you aren’t at the mercy of my dulcet tones the entire time – Julia Rios and Ciro Faienza join in to read some of the poetry.
While was starting to put the Strange Horizons podcast together, I cast around getting feedback from people about what they like about podcasts and what they don’t like. The frequency with which, “Mispronunciations,” came up as a thing that drives people nuts was astonishing. And it left me feeling a smidge insecure since I am definitely one of those people prone to having learned words by reading them and never realizing that I’m saying them wrong in my head. “Great,” said I to myself, “I’m going to make a complete ass of myself.”
Of course the solution is simply to looking things over carefully ahead of time and check with authors about pronunciations, while doing some basic research and due diligence. And I vowed to do this. Every author, I declared, would get an email from me asking, at a minimum, how to pronounce their name. After all, just because their name is spelled Jane Smith does not mean that’s how they like it said. And I decided, while I was at it, that if a word twigged as even a possibility for me to screw up, I’d err on the side of being thorough and ask. It’s not my job to make sure I look smart by never verifying things or asking for help, it’s my job to make the podcast awesome.
It was perfect. I’ve been obsessive about trying to keep ahead on things, I had a system in place designed to counter-act my tendancy to charge into things as if I know what I’m doing regardless of the facts, and I’ve tapped several people on the shoulder and asked them to please, tell me if I’m making an ass of myself. I’m going to conquer the world!
That’s why I wound up sending an email to Ciro on Saturday, right before I started recording. “Uhm,” incompetent Anaea says, “Mind telling me how to say your name. Like, right now?”
Yeah, I’m a winner.
Thankfully, Ciro was super speedy in responding, and I had my answer before I’d finished testing volume levels on the mic. Hilarious public incompetence averted! Ciro’s my hero! I clearly need a better system.
Julia, by the way, has bent over backwards to help me out with leg work, advice, and pointing me toward people and places I needed to dig into to make things go well. You should stalk her at cons and tell her how awesome she is. But non-creepy stalking only, ok?
And in case you missed it, poetry podcast time.